Greener cities, healthier lives: measuring the wider societal benefits
Studies in high-income countries have indicated that exposure to natural environments, such as green spaces, can have important health benefits.
UOW research and other research done in Australia suggests that greener neighbourhoods promote better mental wellbeing and a lower risk of obesity in childhood, and more physically active adults with lower levels of stress, lower weight and better health and educational outcomes.
There is no doubt that green space is good for us. This project will provide a systematic analysis of flow-on benefits across the human life cycle. It will look at our neighbourhood on a larger scale to find out exactly how our surrounds influence our health. It will explore which features of the built environment support healthy lifestyle choices and which features impede these choices.
Developed through the Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) Green Cities fund and in partnership with UOW’s PowerLab part of the School of Health and Society in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and Global Challenges, the project will focus on five key themes: pregnancy and perinatal health; child health and educational attainment; adult mental health and chronic disease risk; health service use and healthcare costs; and green space preferences and outdoor recreation among seniors.
The investigator team is composed of early/mid-career researchers through to highly experienced scientists with demonstrable impacts on knowledge and decision-making in Australia.
Dr. Xiaoqi Feng - Faculty of Social Sciences (pictured right)
A/Prof. Thomas Astell-Burt - Faculty of Social Sciences (pictured right)
Prof. Glenn Salkeld - Faculty of Social Sciences
Prof. Leonard Arnolda - Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute
Prof. Tony Okely - Faculty of Education
Prof. Alison Jones - Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
Prof. David Steel - National Institute for Applied Statistics Research in Australia
Prof. Simon Eckermann - Australian Health Services Research Institute
Prof. Bin Jalaludin - South Western Sydney Local Health District
A/Prof. Ping Yu - Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences
Dr. Dylan Cliff - Faculty of Social Sciences
Dr. Stewart Vella - Faculty of Education
Dr. Chris Brennan-Horley - AUSCCER/Faculty of Social Sciences